February 15, 2017
THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE
Rev. Melanie Weiner
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
We have just celebrated Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. This Bible passage is often read or sung at weddings, but it is not actually about romantic love. The Apostle Paul writes to us about agape, the full and unconditional love that flows from God to us and with which we are called to love each other.
There is more to being church than a group of like-minded individuals coming together on Sunday to worship. We also support one another in times of joy and times of grief, minister together to our community, enjoy fellowship, learn, and much, much more. These all come down to loving one another.
And if we love one another, if we share agape, with all of the characteristics Paul lists, we need not even be like-minded in all things. In fact, if we love one another we may even vehemently disagree about any number of things. Because when it comes down to it, what we disagree on does not define who we are as a group. It is our shared commitment to worship, service, faith formation, fellowship, and most of all love that binds us together.
So let us choose love.